The ethics of cross-border cooperation and its values

in Regions and Cohesion
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  • 1 University of Bath, UK elisabetta.beatrice.nadalutti@gmail.com
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Abstract

This article addresses the importance of understanding the ethical values that underpin cross-border cooperation (CBC). This is done by elaborating a theoretical framework that focuses on the ethical dimension of CBC. A clear distinction is drawn between an ethical and a normative dimension of CBC. The article argues that European CBC policies lack a defined conceptualization of ethical, humanistic, and value-laden bases. By considering three ethical values—rootedness, empathy, and justice—underpinning European governance, this research finds that the operationalization of these values helps to overcome a consumeristic approach, according to which people are passive consumers of CBC. The analysis shows why and how the operationalization of these key ethical values develops a cross-border community where people feel responsible for the territory perceived as a “common good.”

Resumen

Este artículo aborda la importancia de comprender los valores éticos que sustentan las actividades de cooperación transfronteriza (CBC) mediante un marco teórico centrado en explorar la dimensión ética de CBC. Una distinción clara plantea la dimensión ética de la CBC frente a la normativa. El punto ciego de las políticas de CBC europeas yace en la ausencia de una conceptualización definida de las bases éticas y humanísticas. Los valores éticos de arraigo, empatía y justicia sustentan las actividades de CBC, y su operacionalización ayuda a superar la aproximación consumista. El análisis muestra por qué y cómo la operacionalización de estos valores éticos contribuye a desarrollar una comunidad transfronteriza en la que las personas se sientan responsables del territorio percibido como un “bien común”.

Résumé

Pourquoi est-il important de mieux comprendre les valeurs qui sous-tendent les activités de coopération transfrontalière? Cet article aborde cette question à partir d'un cadre théorique centré sur l'exploration de la dimension éthique de la coopération transfrontalière en la distinguant de la dimension normative. Il soutient que la faiblesse des politiques européennes de coopération transfrontalière ne réside pas dans l'absence “normative”, mais dans le manque d'une conceptualisation précise de ses bases éthiques et humanistes. En considérant trois valeurs - l'enracinement, l'empathie et la justice - qui sous-tendent les activités de coopération transfrontalière, cette étude conclut que leur opérationnalisation aide à surmonter une approche consumériste de la coopération transfrontalière, selon laquelle les gens sont des consommateurs passifs. L'analyse montre pourquoi et comment l'opérationnalisation de ces trois valeurs contribue à développer une communauté transfrontalière dans laquelle les personnes se sentent responsables du territoire transfrontalier perçu comme un “bien commun”.

Contributor Notes

ELISABETTA NADALUTTI was awarded a PhD at the University of Bath. Her research focuses on empirical and theoretical questions on global governance, regionalism, regionalization, and border studies. She is currently working on the theoretical elaboration of an ethical code of cross-border governance in cross- border zones in order to better understand the ethical dimension of cross-border cooperation within the European Union and Southeast Asia and its influence on the integration process. She is presently an MSCA-IF at UGA and has worked as post-doctoral fellow in several European Universities like the university of Warwick, University of Oulu, Albert-Ludwig-Universität Freiburg, Universitè du Luxembourg, and Universität Duisburg-Essen. She has been published broadly in several high-rank peer reviewed journals, including Geopolitics, Regional and Federal Studies and the JMCS, and has published a Springer book, The Effects of Europeanization on the Integration Process in the Upper Adriatic Region, and co-edited a book of the Routledge Global Cooperation Series Region-Making through Cross-Border Cooperation: New Evidence from Four Continents. E-mail: elisabetta.beatrice.nadalutti@gmail.com

Regions and Cohesion

Regiones y Cohesión / Régions et Cohésion

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